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Monday, September 29, 2014


by Janet Leahy

Image source: 7NewsDenver

"A newly conservative board for the Jefferson County School District, which is Colorado’s second-largest, raised the possibility of pruning the curriculum of books and material that could be seen to exalt civil disobedience and promote unpatriotic thoughts. Where does that leave the civil rights movement? Vietnam?" --Frank Bruni, “The Wilds of Education, NY Times, September 27, 2014

"The organization that oversees the Advanced Placement curriculum, whose history course is being defended by massive, ongoing student protests in a Denver suburb, has now said that it backs those protests. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program supports the actions taken by students in Jefferson County, Colorado to protest a school board member’s request to censor aspects of the AP U.S. History course," said a statement from the College Board released on Friday. --HuffPost, September 27, 2014

In Colorado
students march with teachers protesting
the school board’s agenda to change
the AP history curriculum.
Why teach evolution, climate change,
the civil rights struggle, the exploitation
of Indigenous People?
Why teach critical thinking?
Just erase the chapters of the past that might
cast a negative light—
the bombing of Hiroshima, slavery.
Rip whole chapters from history books.
Red-flag for omission accurate facts
that show Americans
treating others as less than human.
The scholarship of history in question.
Yet these students
keep their eyes on the prize,
demanding an education aligned with truth,
ignorance is not bliss.

Janet Leahy writes poetry in New Berlin, Wisconsin.  A member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, she has two collections of poetry, The Storm, Poems of War, Iraq and Not My Mother’s Classroom.